VIA: Downtown to Sprawltown

By Jason Leach
Published December 22, 2005

Once again, a major decision involving the future of passenger rail service in Hamilton is being made with political interests in mind and not the needs of passengers and regular citizens.

Of course Stoney Creek MP Tony Valeri is going to recommend a location in East Hamilton/Stoney Creek, despite the fact that common sense clearly points to the downtown core on James North as the logical location for our new VIA Station.

I was in Toronto recently and saw a billboard ad for VIA. It listed all the conveniences of rail travel including the following phrase: "Downtown to downtown, we take you where you want to go."

If Mr. Valeri has his way, they¹ll have to change that sentence to include, "except in Hamilton, where we drop you off in the middle of a bunch of derelict factories, far from any hotels, office towers, tourist attractions, restaurants and public transit."

What other city in Canada would dream of allowing such a horrendous decision to be made? None would.

Neither should the people of Hamilton.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.


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